Mobile is a city filled with many flavors

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, July 27, 2016

As you watch the Mobile TV stations, you sometimes catch a glimpse of Mobile as it was in the 1950s and 1960s. I kept up with names, places and events from those years back then by reading the Mobile Press Register every day, and by listening to my favorite radio station, WALA Radio.

Many of those commercial newspaper ads still stand out in my mind. And that popular radio ad, “The best of food is at the Tiny Diny on Highway 90” became a household slogan.

Delchamps Grocery was a successful sustaining newspaper ad. In fact at one time this ad and the Greers Grocery Store ads were the only ones found in the paper.

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Folks from here often went to Mobile for shopping, eating out and attending events at Ft. Whiting Auditorium. There was no city auditorium then as we have today. Some from here attended the gala Mardi Gras balls held in that stately building. Along the way, we often stopped for one of those famous “flounder” fishplates at Palmers on the causeway. Of course, we always had to set our minds to accept a long wait in lines before we were seated. But, the wait was worth it all.

Names that are synonymous with that era are Bankhead Tunnel, Polmans Bakery, Danzigers, Kresses, Woolworths, Hartwell Field, Brookley Field, Saenger Theater, Mobile Bears, Crown Theater, “Plowhandle Bill,” Mobile General Hospital, Ross Smitherman, Cochran Bridge, Mobile Rug and Shade, Mobile Training School, squirrels and peanuts at City Park Square, Mardi Gras, causeway, Constantines and Morrison’s.

I could go on and on furnishing names from the past associated with this fine city. But, we must turn away from the past and think what a fine city it is today. Walking in downtown at night gives you the impression of being in the heart of one of those New Orleans streets. The iron lattice trimmed buildings lend to a Cresent City mode. And, the food at these cafes capture the taste of every country you can think of.

Now with the introduction of Airbus and several ship building companies, Mobile can boast of commercial development found only in a few cities today.

Yes, we treasure Mobile as it was in its earlier days and look to it for even more success in the years ahead.

Now, here’s a look back at some news of people, places and events from years past.

Sandy McGill, local hospital administrator, resigned to take a similar position at South Baldwin Hospital in Foley. The affable Dutch Henry, a Baldwin County native, was hired as McGill’s replacement.

Dr. Hugh Long moved to Atmore and assumed the practice of another chiropractor, who retired. (Notice I did not mention the name of that retiring doctor because I forgot the proper spelling of his name. Was it Dr. Thornbloom or Dr Thornblom?)

In my older years, I think of the many local residents, professional businessmen and women who did “good things” for Atmore and the surrounding communities in years gone by. One particular friend, Robert Maxwell, a highly regarded local attorney, impressed me with his many talents in 1954. An officer in the Atmore Jaycees, he was the emcee when this organization conducted its radio drive for the purpose of collecting toys and clothing for the underprivileged. Not only was he recognized for his leadership of the drive but he sounded real good on the radio. Almost like a professional announcer. His vocal talents, particularly singing duets with the former Jennie Keller, was a blend of harmony surpassed by very few.

I write stories like this from those long ago years because there are not too many writers remaining to do it. It is my hope these columns, which contain names of hundreds you knew, will be archived and treasured for future generations. “Old age,” diminishing enthusiasm and forgetfulness is beginning to cause me to wonder how many columns I have left to write.

I read on the Internet this past week about the success of Nora Roberts, the successful short story novelist. How many of you have read her short novels? No telling how many she has written. The Internet story inspired would be novelist to study her writing formats. Take a subject, inject unique characters, create conflict, love, intrigue and mystery and” Bingo,” you have a novel. I am sure she enjoys enormous satisfaction in all her creative work. By the way we have a talented lady here in Atmore, who also has the ability to write novels in the same manner of Nora. She is, of course, Bonnie Latino. Her book, “Your Gift To Me,” has been a top seller across the country.

What about this “Yetti” thing? It is sweeping the country, in fact a recent Internet story indicated this item was at the top of the lists of merchandise being stolen today. And, have you noticed the price of the Yetti items, including the chests? I do not own a Yetti, but I have one similar to it and it really does keep my drinking very, very cold. Have you gotten yours yet?

I’ll have more next week.

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